The Village Preservation Society of East Hampton has partnered with local philanthropist Joe Rose, joining his East Hampton Eats, a Community Food Fund movement. The pair is aiding local restaurants in providing take-out meals to essential workers and others in need.
“The coronavirus has created not only a public health emergency, but also an economic crisis,” Rose said. “Abrupt staff layoffs have caused serious hardship for vulnerable workers and we also deeply appreciate the extra effort and risk that essential business and public service workers have been making. We want to help.”
Rose’s outreach to Village Preservation Society Chairman John McGuirk and other members of the community resulted in a beta test of the program last week.
“We need to come together as a community to support each other and help out those who are struggling,” McGuirk said. “It’s gratifying to know that we’ve found a way to thank our local essential workers during this extraordinary time while directing some needed business to our local restaurants — a win-win. It’s a small gesture to those who are keeping things running now, but represents the gratitude of the entire community. We’re proud to be a part of it.”
The pair worked with Honest Man Restaurants — managing Rowdy Hall, Coche Comedor, Townline BBQ, and Nick & Toni’s — and delivered over 150 coupons for a meal one night per week, redeemed by local workers and the food insecure.
“With social distancing and the challenges of getting a fairly complex system up and running in only 10 days, it amazes me,” said Village Preservation Society Executive Director Kathleen Cunningham. “This lightens the load.”
Distribution of the meal coupons was made possible by East Hampton Clericus, religious leaders in the Latino community, and local civic organizations. Cantor and Rabbi Debra Stein of Jewish Center of the Hamptons, the most recent past chair of the clericus group, has also been working with members of the clergy to distribute meal tickets to congregants in need.
“When Joe Rose called me about this I thought it was a great idea,” said Mark Smith, co-owner of Honest Man Restaurants. “Providing meals for people in need and supporting the local restaurants. This is what community is about.”
To help, write a check to Village Preservation Society: East Hampton Eats and mail it to P.O. Box 2015, East Hampton, NY 11937. Electronic donations can also be accepted over the phone by calling 631-324-3524. Village Preservation Society is a nonprofit, and all contributions are fully tax-deductible.